[CT Birds] Re- Tundra Swans near Westchester Airport are Trumpeter Swans

Stefan Martin nafets519 at gmail.com
Tue Feb 28 01:27:22 EST 2017

I had a chance to shoot up and observe the swans in depth for about an hour this morning. The 2 birds are definitely Trumpeter Swans, with one of the birds being rather vocal. This individual did not mind human presence and was rather social, swimming close to shore and checking us out, all the while continuing to feed on vegetation (underwater gunk). I was able to photograph this bird flapping its wings and confirmed that the right wing (only) was pinned. I never saw the other bird flap while I was there. The primaries weren't clipped, but instead, missing entirely. This is typical of captive born birds and is often done when the bird is just a hatchling. Both birds were clear of tags or leg bands however. A few other notes.. The birds have noticeably different bill bases. One shows an obvious V shape typical of your average Trumpeter while the other shows a U variation, more consistent with Tundra (although variable). To the best of my knowledge, Trumpeter can show either base, whereas Tundra will consistently or primarily show the U (as far as I know). I also wanted to clarify the location of these birds. On my map, the pond seems to be in New York, but only a stones throw over the border. The Northeast tip of the pond however, could be in Connecticut (if you really squint your eyes!). Today, Steve Martin (yes, Steve Martin) told me that according to his co-workers, these birds actually walk across the road and bounce between here and the office park regularly. So in summary, these birds are not Tundra Swans, nor are they in CT, nor do they even appear to be wild... With all that being said, if you find yourself in the area, I do recommend dropping by for a visit. It's not too often you get an opportunity to observe Trumpeter Swans in a somewhat wild and local setting. I have no idea where they came from, but they won't be flying out of the area (or at least the one). I don't know the likelihood of this happening, but from my observations today, I wouldn't be surprised if they attempted to nest locally. It's definitely something to keep an eye on in any case. 

For what it's worth,
Stefan Martin

> On Feb 27, 2017, at 10:45 AM, Ryan Maclean via CTBirds <ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
> Gail Benson posted this to NYBirds about an hour ago. The birds are in fact
> TRUMPETER SWANS but they both appear to be missing flight feathers.
> Trumpeter Swans typically molt during the breeding season so the
> possibility of them being wild birds is at this point very questionable.
> Date: Mon Feb 27 2017 8:44 am
> From: gbensonny AT gmail.com
> The two swans appear to be Trumpeter Swans without flight feathers
> (pinioned). So we expect they will be there for awhile. Â  Tom Burke &
> Gail BensonOn Feb 27, 2017 9:39 AM, "Carole Griffiths"
> <Carole.Griffiths at liu.edu> wrote:
>> On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 9:10 AM, Ryan Maclean <ryanmac335 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> These may be the same 2 individuals recorded by Drew Panko and Trudy
>> Battaly on the Greenwich Stamford Christmas Bird Count.
>> On Mon, Feb 27, 2017 at 6:57 AM, Steven Martin via CTBirds <
>> ctbirds at lists.ctbirding.org> wrote:
>>> Cross-posted, birds are technically in CT.
>>> Two adult Tundra Swans seen at approx. 0640 from road in pond across the
>>> street from King St. office complex.
>>> Location at Google link or coordinates below:
>>> https://goo.gl/maps/4kgbJpdxgFG2
>>> 41.0919327, -73.7214767
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